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4 ways military service members can better manage their move

(BPT) - The military gives individuals and families the opportunity to explore the world, but that exploration often requires frequent moving. Rarely is this a smooth process. Service members can receive assistance through Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Personally Procured Moves (PPM) programs to help handle the process.

No matter how quickly the move happens or what kind of moving assistance your family requests, additional assistance is available for military members in order to make the move go more smoothly. Penske Truck Rental has a specialized call center staffed with employees who are trained to aid service members and their families in negotiating the complications of a move.

Here are some moving tips from the Penske call center to help make your family's relocation within a base or to a new base more efficient:

* Planning - PCS notifications can come without much warning, or families may know about a potential move far in advance. For both instances, getting a plan in place is a good start. Gather important information into one folder, such as phone numbers, contact names, dates, receipts and checklists so you can easily track everything about your move. For some planning tools that focus specifically on military moves, visit the U.S. Department of Defense website.

* Weights - Military rules require soldiers to certify the weight of the rental vehicle when empty and after it's fully loaded. Weight-limit reimbursements are set depending on a soldier's rank and dependents, but the traditional weights are estimated at 1,000 pounds per room, excluding bathrooms and storage areas. Then add the estimated weight of large appliances, garage items and items in storage. Compare this number to what is allowed and determine if you can reduce the load in any way so you can avoid paying overweight costs. To help with weight certifications, Penske offers a Certified Public Scale locator tool online to help movers in finding weigh stations.

* Contact info - File a change of address form at your local post office so mail can be forwarded, and make certain your new information is updated with your specific branch of the military.

* Explore - Get to know your new neighborhood, both on and off base. If you have children, explore the schools and the after-school activities available. Learn a bit about the city's history and gather information on the services the city offers so that on moving day, your water and electricity will be available right away.

When in the military, a move is practically inevitable. The process, however, can be much less emotionally and financially stressful with a little organization and planning from the get-go.

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